WARRINGTON-BORN Aston Villa defender James Chester says he has “damaged his body indefinitely” in helping his side reach the Premier League.

The former Birchwood Community High School pupil was invited to lift the trophy by on-field captain Jack Grealish after Villa beat Derby County 2-1 in Monday’s Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium.

While he played a key role earlier in the season, Chester has not played since January due to a severe knee injury.

The Welsh international revealed after the play-off final that playing through the pain barrier between November and January to allow Villa boss Dean Smith time to bring in defensive reinforcements has left him with career-long damage.

He was quoted by the Birmingham Mail saying “I’ve damaged my body indefinitely. It's something I'm going to have to manage for the rest of my career.”

Chester made 28 Championship appearances for Villa this season, scoring 5 goals, and hopes to lead his team out on the first day of the Premier League season on August 10.